musician

About The Chicago Ensemble



Mission Statement
The Chicago Ensemble presents vibrant instrumental and vocal music by exceptional contemporary and classical composers; we want to extend the tradition of chamber music to new generations by performing diverse music styles - bringing the joy of good music to our multicultural community.


The Chicago Ensemble has a rich history of presenting important works of music by musicians of exceptional skill and talents. I couldn’t give a higher recommendation to a well-established and revered organization.
Alicia Humpfling, New Rhythm Arts Center
For almost 45 years, The Chicago Ensemble has brought a fascinating array of chamber music to Chicagoans. Artistic Director Gerald Rizzer programs a captivating mix of famous masterpieces, rarely-heard gems from the past, and new works. For their concert series, the group appears in varied combinations of piano, strings, woodwinds and voice. Players in the Ensemble are outstanding musicians who also are in demand by the principal Chicago professional performing organizations. The Chicago Ensemble occupies a special place in Chicago’s vibrant arts and culture scene.

The Chicago Ensemble prides itself on providing a welcoming and engaging experience when you attend a program. People can expect to hear the artistic director provide informal commentary before each piece, heightening the intimacy of a chamber music concert. Light hors d’oeuvres, wine, and other beverages are included with your ticket purchase and available to enjoy starting a half hour before the performance

The Chicago Ensemble performs an annual concert series of five diversified programs. Each program is heard at two venues: International House located at the University of Chicago’s prestigious campus and Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.


Other Ensemble Activities

  1. Ensemble members coach adult amateur chamber music players in a centrally located, annual all-day workshop.
  2. The Chicago Ensemble’s board of directors hosts a special gala program to benefit the Ensemble’s programs and community outreach.
  3. Through its “Discover America” competition, launched in 1992, The Chicago Ensemble is supportive of composers, calling for the submission of new scores. For the tenth round of the competition, 430 scores were reviewed. The  winning compositions are performed at special programs of new music and are then heard again, integrated into the regular concert series programs. Composers are thereby given much-needed opportunities for exposure.

Board & Administration

Chair: Michael Looby
Vicky Cheng
Michelle Gray
Larraine Granger
Miriam Lahey
Edward and Eileen Soderstrom

Piano tuner: Ken Orgel (International House)
Page turner: Greg Tufts    
Ticket table volunteers: Henry Arkin, Bart Collopy, The Saints
Receptions: Bernardo Munoz, Bernie’s Catering    
Website and Facebook updates: Anna Rohlf
Virtual Program Producer: David Wetzel
Marketing Services: Nicole Wetzell, NEW Consulting LLC.

Granting Organizations
Illinois Arts Council
The Saints